Women and Children First

Reg is a handsome young steward who works in the Titanic‘s first-class dining room; Annie is a gifted Irish woman, travelling to New York with her four children. There’s an American millionaire with an unhappy secret and an unhealthy marriage, and a titled English lady who’s pregnant and unmarried but determined to hold her head high. The sinking of the Titanic not only steals lives but blows apart the futures of the men and women who survive. Coming to terms with the shocking events they have witnessed, the survivors form new attachments, watch their lives crumble, make tragic decisions, and struggle to survive in the aftermath. How can life ever be the same again when you have heard 1,500 people dying in the water around you?

Scroll down to read reviews and reader’s questions.


“Loved Women & Children First. Interesting it deals with the aftermath / guilt / angst of surviving Titanic – gripping read.” Chrissy Iley, on Twitter

“A warm-hearted and engaging novel that breathes fresh life into the well-known tragedy of the Titanic.” Amanda Brookfield

“A thrilling, moving story of lives caught up in an extraordinary event – vivid and engrossing. I loved it.” Lulu Taylor

Reading Group Questions

How much did you know about the sinking of the Titanic before reading this novel? Was enough information given to help you understand what it was like to be on board the ship? The story is told from Reg’s point of view so no information is included that he would not have known at the time. Did you find this an effective way of explaining the event?

The novel follows the fate of three characters in particular: Reg Jones, Annie McGeown and Lady Juliette Mason-Parker. Did the balance of their stories work for you? Reg gets most coverage, and he becomes involved with the other two. Would you have liked to see more from Juliette or Annie’s points of view?

Reginald Jones was a real first-class steward on the Titanic, but sadly he died when the ship sank. Do you think the author had the right to create a fictional story about him?

Most Titanic books and films finish with the arrival of the Carpathia. Was it interesting to hear about the aftermath of the sinking? Did the portrayal of what we would now call PTSD work for you?

Reg made a terrible decision in taking John’s identity. Do you forgive him?

Spiritualism was popular around 1912 and many Titanic survivors consulted mediums to try and get in touch with their loved ones. Do you think you would have in their position?

Did the novel end in the right place? Did it need the Epilogue?